Squeeze film dampers (SFDs) with low levels of external pressurization and poor end sealing are prone to air entrapment, thus not generating enough damping capability. Single frequency, unidirectional load tests were conducted on a SFD test rig replicating a commercial jet-engine configuration. The damper journal is 2.54 cm in length and 12.7 cm in diameter, with nominal clearance of 0.127 mm. The SFD feed end is flooded with oil, while the discharge end contains a recirculation groove and four orifice ports, and a mechanical seal ring in contact with the damper journal. A wave spring pushes the ring ensuring tight sealing to prevent gas ingestion. The mechanical seal also serves to contain the lubricant within the squeeze film land for extended periods of time and; while in operation, to prevent contamination of the ball bearing cartridge. The measurements conducted without and with lubricant in the squeeze film lands, along with a frequency domain identification procedure, render the mechanical seal dry-friction force and viscous damping force coefficients as functions of frequency and motion amplitude. The end seal arrangement is quite effective in eliminating side leakage and preventing air entrainment into the film lands. Importantly enough, the dry friction force, arising from the contact forces in relative motion, increases significantly the test element equivalent viscous damping coefficients. The identified system damping coefficients are thus frequency and motion amplitude dependent, albeit decreasing rapidly as the motion parameters increase. Identified squeeze film force coefficients, damping and added mass, agree well with predictions based on the full film, short length damper model.

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